1 Peter 3:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

New Living Translation
But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.

English Standard Version
having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

New American Standard Bible
and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.

King James Bible
Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.

International Standard Version
But do this gently and respectfully, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak evil of your good conduct in the Messiah will be ashamed of slandering you.

NET Bible
Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
As you have a good conscience, so that those who speak against you as against evil people, may be ashamed as people who reject your beautiful way of life, which is in The Messiah.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Keep your conscience clear. Then those who treat the good Christian life you live with contempt will feel ashamed that they have ridiculed you.

Jubilee Bible 2000
having a good conscience, so in that which they murmur against you as of evildoers, those that blaspheme your good conversation in the Christ may be confused.

King James 2000 Bible
Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good behavior in Christ.

American King James Version
Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

American Standard Version
having a good conscience; that, wherein ye are spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile your good manner of life in Christ.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But with modesty and fear, having a good conscience: that whereas they speak evil of you, they may be ashamed who falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

Darby Bible Translation
having a good conscience, that [as to that] in which they speak against you as evildoers, they may be ashamed who calumniate your good conversation in Christ.

English Revised Version
having a good conscience; that, wherein ye are spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile your good manner of life in Christ.

Webster's Bible Translation
Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evil-doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good deportment in Christ.

Weymouth New Testament
Yet argue modestly and cautiously, keeping your consciences free from guilt, so that, when you are spoken against, those who slander your good Christian lives may be put to shame.

World English Bible
having a good conscience; that, while you are spoken against as evildoers, they may be disappointed who curse your good way of life in Christ.

Young's Literal Translation
having a good conscience, that in that in which they speak against you as evil-doers, they may be ashamed who are traducing your good behaviour in Christ;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:14-22 We sanctify God before others, when our conduct invites and encourages them to glorify and honour him. What was the ground and reason of their hope? We should be able to defend our religion with meekness, in the fear of God. There is no room for any other fears where this great fear is; it disturbs not. The conscience is good, when it does its office well. That person is in a sad condition on whom sin and suffering meet: sin makes suffering extreme, comfortless, and destructive. Surely it is better to suffer for well-doing than for evil-doing, whatever our natural impatience at times may suggest. The example of Christ is an argument for patience under sufferings. In the case of our Lord's suffering, he that knew no sin, suffered instead of those who knew no righteousness. The blessed end and design of our Lord's sufferings were, to reconcile us to God, and to bring us to eternal glory. He was put to death in respect of his human nature, but was quickened and raised by the power of the Holy Spirit. If Christ could not be freed from sufferings, why should Christians think to be so? God takes exact notice of the means and advantages people in all ages have had. As to the old world, Christ sent his Spirit; gave warning by Noah. But though the patience of God waits long, it will cease at last. And the spirits of disobedient sinners, as soon as they are out of their bodies, are committed to the prison of hell, where those that despised Noah's warning now are, and from whence there is no redemption. Noah's salvation in the ark upon the water, which carried him above the floods, set forth the salvation of all true believers. That temporal salvation by the ark was a type of the eternal salvation of believers by baptism of the Holy Spirit. To prevent mistakes, the apostle declares what he means by saving baptism; not the outward ceremony of washing with water, which, in itself, does no more than put away the filth of the flesh, but that baptism, of which the baptismal water formed the sign. Not the outward ordinance, but when a man, by the regeneration of the Spirit, was enabled to repent and profess faith, and purpose a new life, uprightly, and as in the presence of God. Let us beware that we rest not upon outward forms. Let us learn to look on the ordinances of God spiritually, and to inquire after the spiritual effect and working of them on our consciences. We would willingly have all religion reduced to outward things. But many who were baptized, and constantly attended the ordinances, have remained without Christ, died in their sins, and are now past recovery. Rest not then till thou art cleansed by the Spirit of Christ and the blood of Christ. His resurrection from the dead is that whereby we are assured of purifying and peace.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 16. - Having a good conscience. This word "conscience" (συνείδησις) is one of the many links between this Epistle and the writings of St. Paul. St. Peter uses it three times; St. Paul, very frequently. There is a close connection between this clause and the preceding verse. A good conscience is the best reason of the hope that is in us. An apology may be learned, well-expressed, eloquent; but it will not be convincing unless it comes from the heart, and is backed up by the life. Calvin (quoted by Huther) says, "Quid parum auctoritatis habet sermo absque vita." That, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers. The Revised Version follows the Sinaitic Manuscript in reading, "Wherein ye are spoken against," and omitting "as of evil-doers? It is possible that the received reading may have been interpolated from 1 Peter 2:12, where the same words occur; except that there the mood is indicative, here, conjunctive, "wherein they may possibly speak evil of you." They may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ; rather, as the Revised Version, they may be put to shame; that is, "proved to be liars" (comp. 2 Corinthians 7:14). The word translated "falsely accuse" is that which is rendered "despitefully use" in Matthew 5:44. Luke 6:28. It is a strong word. Aristotle defines the corresponding substantive as a thwarting of the wishes of others out of gratuitous malice ('Rhet.,' 2:2). For "good conversation," see 1 Peter 1:15, 18. The Christian's life is in Christ, in the sphere of his presence, he dwelling in us, and we in him (comp. 2 Corinthians 5:17, etc.).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Having a good conscience,.... Meaning not the faculty of the conscience itself, which is naturally evil, and defiled with sin, and is only made good by the sanctification of the Spirit, and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus, by which the heart is sprinkled from it, and that itself purged from dead works; but a life and conversation according to the dictates of such a conscience, in the uprightness and sincerity of it, and by the grace of God, and according to the Gospel, and whereby the doctrines of it are adorned; for, as besides internal sanctification of God, or a fearing of him, and believing in him with the heart, there must be a profession of him with the mouth, and a reason of faith and hope given verbally, when there is an occasion for it; so to both must be added a conscientious discharge of duty, both to God and men, which is one way of defending and recommending the doctrines of the Gospel:

that whereas they speak evil of you as of evildoers; as vain, proud, haughty, and arrogant persons, as seditious men, enemies to order and civil magistracy; as such that speak evil of dignities, and despise government; when they shall see your modest and humble deportment in the world, and before them, and with what reverence and esteem you treat them:

they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ; which was in consequence of their being in Christ, and made new creatures by him, and was as became his Gospel, and by and under the influence of his grace and Spirit.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

16. Having a good conscience—the secret spring of readiness to give account of our hope. So hope and good conscience go together in Ac 24:15, 16. Profession without practice has no weight. But those who have a good conscience can afford to give an account of their hope "with meekness."

whereas—(1Pe 2:12).

they speak evil of you, as of evildoers—One oldest manuscript reads, "ye are spoken against," omitting the rest.

falsely accuse—"calumniate"; the Greek expresses malice shown in deeds as well as in words. It is translated, "despitefully use," Mt 5:44; Lu 6:28.

conversation—life, conduct.

in Christ—who is the very element of your life as Christians. "In Christ" defines "good." It is your good walk as Christians, not as citizens, that calls forth malice (1Pe 4:4, 5, 14).

1 Peter 3:16 Additional Commentaries
Context
Suffering for Righteousness
15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 17For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.…
Cross References
Daniel 6:4
At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.

Acts 28:22
But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect."

1 Timothy 1:5
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Hebrews 13:18
Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.

1 Peter 2:12
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

1 Peter 2:15
For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.

1 Peter 2:19
For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.

1 Peter 3:21
and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

1 Peter 4:4
They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.
Treasury of Scripture

Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

a good.

1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us (not …

1 Peter 2:19 For this is thank worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure …

Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void …

Romans 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing …

2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that …

2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in …

1 Timothy 1:5,19 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and …

2 Timothy 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience…

Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal …

Hebrews 13:18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things …

whereas. See on ch.

1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas …

Titus 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary …

falsely.

Matthew 5:11 Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and …

good. See on ver.

1 Peter 3:1,2 Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, …

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